There are millions of surfers hitting the waves each year in the United States alone, and untold thousands of those wave-riders have suffered from unfortunate injuries during their wave-top cruising. For many athletes or amateur surfers alike, a surfing injury can spell out a long-lasting break from surfing, and for some, it ruins their passion in the hobby entirely. Believe it or not, however, there are many ways to manage your surfing injuries so that they don’t spell out the end of your surfing career.
So, how can you manage your injuries so that you’re back on the beach as soon as possible? Treatment and recovery should never be rushed, but by following these key tips you can better manage your surfing injuries to minimize your down time and get back to the ocean as soon as possible.
Understand that some injuries are unavoidable
A tremendous number of surfers blame themselves for injuries they suffer while surfing, and untold thousands of amateur surfing enthusiast in particular have permanently packed away their boards after suffering an injury while on the waves. You should understand that some things are simply unavoidable in life, however, and that an adrenaline-filled experience like surfing the waves necessary comes with some tradeoffs that you’ll have to deal with. Rather than getting mad about the seeming inevitability of injury or setbacks when surfing, you should prepare yourself, so that when the time comes you can manage your injury all the better.
There are more surfers now than ever before, according to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, which pegs the number of surfers in the US alone at some 2.5 million. That many surfers are going to generate some gnarly injuries for themselves eventually, and if you’re not sure of what key signs to lookout for, you may not even be aware that you’re hurting your long-term prospects by ignoring a minor injury. Check out some of the most common injuries to know what to avoid ahead of time, and to determine if that random spike of pain you may be suffering from could be indicative of an injury you got while surfing that initially flew under your radar.
Above all else, it’s imperative to remember that surfers who endure a serious injury shouldn’t be trying to rush back into the water as soon as possible; heading back into the surf too early can actually make things worse, and could result in you being forced to spend even more time in recovery than before. Don’t be afraid to rest and recover, and try to stay off or reduce the workload of any limbs you may have hurt while riding the waves. Icing your sore areas, or using the best numbing cream, after a harsh day on the surf can help prevent soreness from developing into a longer lasting injury, and is a great way to relax, too. The same numbing cream can be used to help deal with the pain of tattoos by numbing the area where the tattoo would be applied.
Learning what to avoid
Above all else, it’s imperative you don’t expose an injured body part to too much heat in the immediate aftermath of an injury, which means you can’t lounge on the beach and catch some rays while waiting for your wounds to heal. Massages may seem relaxing, too, but should be avoided unless they’re being done by a medical professional in a hospital environment, as they can possibly exacerbate your injuries if they’re done improperly or in the wrong setting.
Knee and hip pains can be very prevalent among surfers because of their riding stances, so try to avoid stressing your knees in particular when you’re on dry land, as that could come back to haunt you when you’re riding some waves. Check out some common hip exercises if you’re having trouble with your legs, as hip injuries are perhaps the most common form of surf injuries being dealt with around the world today. Above all else, give yourself time! We’ve covered the rest period already, but far too many surfers, especially younger ones, are intent on hitting the waves as soon as possible. Rush into things headfirst, however, and you’ll only injury yourself again in no time.
What are you waiting for? Get started on your rest and recovery – you’ll need plenty of it. If you bide your time and follow healthy treatment solutions, you’ll be surfing again in no time.